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Патент USA US2116717

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May 10, 1938.
Filed June 25, 1935
Patented May 10, 1938
Hans Scharlau, Berlin,. Germany,
Teleflmken Geaellschaft fiir Drahtlose Tele
graphic 111. b. 11., Berlin, Germany, a corpora
tion of Germany
Application June 25, 1935, Serial No. 28,252
In Germany July 5, 1934
11 Ol?ms. (Cl. 250-11)
This invention relates to distance and direction determining systems and is particularly con-
base line for a system of triangulation such that
the distance from a re?ecting object may also be
cerned with means to be mounted on board a
very accurately indicated,
vessel, an-aircraft or other conveyance for pro5 jecting a radio beam against either natural or
arti?cial objects from which it may be re?ected
back to points adjacent the beam projector, and
further means for detecting the re?ected beams
and for indicating the distance and-the direction
10 of the re?ecting object.
My invention may be used either to avoid col-
lisions between vessels or to determine the altitude at which an airplane may be ?ying. It is
not, however, limited to such uses.
For direction ?nding with the aid of electromagnetic waves, apparatus has been provided in
the past in which the intensity of the incoming
signal could be measured. Although known devices have proven fairly satisfactory for direction
20 ?nding they were'not so useful for distance determination. They were usually more or less complicated and required the use of a formula in order
to make a distance-calculation from any instru-
ment readings that might be available, based on
The two receiving antennae may be rotatively
mounted so as to provide the necessary adjust- _5
ment for causing their directional axes to inter
sect one another at different distances from the
ship. A uni-control device may be embodied in
the apparatus so that both receiving antennae
maybe adjusted simultaneously and uniformly. 10
If the two receiving antennae are mounted sym
metrically with reference to the axis of the vessel,
then the ?eld or region which may be searched
for the purpose of indicating re?ecting objects
or dangerous obstacles may be held within amore 15
or less restricted angular range along the course _
to be navigated- When energy radiated by the
transmitter is re?ected back by some object in
the path of the vessel then the
tance of that object may be
mined by the angles which the
signalling strength make with
direction and dis
accurately deter- 20
axes of maximum
the base line be
tween the two receiving antennae.
If my distance and direction ?nding apparatus,
25 the intensity of the incoming signal. - I have
found, however, that radio energy may be so prop-
is to be used as an aid to aerial navigation, then 25
the transmitter may be mounted so as 110 project a
‘ agated and re?ected that, when received at two
di?erent points simultaneously, a simple calculation could be made based upon principles of
30 triangulation. It is, therefore, among the objects
of my invention to provide mechanical means
whereby the desired distance determinations may
be easily read on indicators suitably calibrated
beam downwardly and the receiving antennae
may also be mounted, say, near the wing tips and
with their directional axes aimed toward the
ground thereby to give indication of altitude at so
which the airplane may be ?ying. As an alter
native arrangement the receiving antennae may
be mounted one near the bow and the other near
in units of distance.
the stern of an airship-
It is another object of my invention to provide
According to one embodiment of my invention 35
apparatus for distance and direction determina- it is preferable to Provide separate receiving indi
tion which may be conveniently mounted on cator means in connection with each receiving
board a. vessel for giving warning of the ap- antenna where great altitudes are to be deter
proach of another vessel, the presence of an ice- mined. A uniform angular adjustment of the
40 berg, reef, or any dangerous object.
- directional receivers is possible and both instru- 40
In carrying out my invention I preferably ments will exhibit like re?ections or audible re
' mount on board a vessel a suitable transmitter
having an antenna system which is combined
Where the altitude is low it may be de
sirable to show di?erences between the signal-re
with means for directing a beam- within the limits
45 of an acute angle. To one side and to the other
of this beam projecting antenna system I also
mount a pair of receivers each having sharply
sponsive indications or readings of instruments
separately operated from the two antennae and 45
thus to obtain an indication of the lateral posi
tion, or the dip, or the inclination of the airplane
focussed antenna systems or energy collecting
devices. The directional characteristic of each
5,0 of these receiving antennae is coordinated with
that of the other in such manner that a de?nite
when making alanding. This feature may have
particular utility in the operation of bringing
down heavy hydroplanes on the water, or when 50
landing a Zeppelin. The utmost advantage is, of
indication may be made as to the distance at
course, to be obtained when my invention is so
which their directional axes meet. Since the
distance between these two receiving antennae
utilized under conditions of poor visibility.
My invention as regards the details of its con
55 may be very accurately determined, it forms the
struction and operation may be best understood 55
upon reference to the accompanying drawing in
Figure 1 represents diagrammatically an ar
rangement‘of the essential units ‘of mydistance
and direction ?nding system as when mounted
aboard a ship for scanning an object along side‘;
Fig. 2 shows an alternative arrangement in
tion of the_ antenna axes. At one end of the
member i2 1’ may provide a pointer i3 cooper
atively positioned in respect to a scale II which’
may be calibrated either in terms of distance or
of the angles which the receiving antenna axes
make with a base line. The details of the receiv
ing system which may be employed in connec
tion with the receiving antennae have not been
ahead of the bow of the ship;
shown in Fig. 2, as they may be well understood
Fig. 3 shows diagrammatically one arrange-. from the showing of Fig. 1, or, possibly, from
ment for. controlling the directional effects ob
Fig. 4 presently to be described.
tained by rotatively adjusting two re?ectors si
Referring now to Fig. 3, I show another modi
which the ?eld to be scanned lies .immediately
multaneously in relation to a receiving antenna
system; and
Fig. 4 shows diagrammatically how my inven
tion may be used for making altitude deter
Referring now to Fig. 1, I show, mounted
aboard a vessel V, a suitable radio transmitter
T upon which oscillations from an oscillator 2
may be impressed. These oscillations may, if
desired, be modulated or interrupted in any well
known manner by means of the modulator 3.
' The output energy from the transmitter T is
25 preferably impressed upon an antenna system
having a suitable re?ector i whereby a beam of
energy may be projected within the limits of
any desired acute angle such as de?ned by the
broken lines 4. Within the scope of this beam
30 any existing object R having re?ective proper
ties may be caused to re?ect back beams of en
ergy 5 and 6 which can be intercepted by the
receiving antennae ‘i and 8. The energy so col
lected by the receiving antennae may then be
35 utilized in a radio receiver l5, or a pair of such
receivers, and indications may then be impressed
upon any suitable responsive device, such as the
earphones P.
The distance of the object R from the vessel
40 V may be accurately determined upon reference
to the angles which the beams 5 and 6 make with
a base line joining the foci of the two energy col
lectors ‘I and 8. The means for measuring these
angles may be as shown in the other ?gures of
45 the drawing. When the energy collectors are so
adjusted as to obtain a maximum'signalling en
ergy response, it is then that angular determina
tions may be made for showing the distance as
well as the direction of the re?ecting object R.
It is known that the object R need not be ar
ti?cial in order to possess re?ecting properties.
Natural objects like rocks, icebergs, derelicts,
other vessels, and, in fact, any dangerous ob
stacles in the path of a vessel may, and usually
55 do, have re?ecting properties.
Fig. 2 illustrates an alternative arrangement
of my invention for providing protection against
collision. Here the transmitter with its radiat
ing antenna system I is so mounted, preferably
60 near the bow of -a ship, that a beam of radio en
ergy may be directed within the limits of lines I.
If, then, any portion of the beam is re?ected back
along the lines 5 and 6 on account of the pres
ence of a re?ecting object R, then the re?ected
65 energy may be received upon the directional an
tennae ‘i and 8. These antennae are preferably
of the type which has parabolic re?ectors so that
the directional axis may be well de?ned. In or
der to vary the directional axis of each re?ector
70 I preferably mount the antenna and re?ector on
?cation in which the transmitter T may be the
same as shown in Fig. 1. The transmitting an
tenna system includes a re?ector I and the beam 15
projected therefrom may be con?ned within the
zone between the lines 4. The axis of such a
beam is indicated as 4'.
The presence of a re
?ecting object in the path of the beam l-will be
denoted by the re?ection of energy along the 20
lines 5 and 6, which energy is caused to impinge
upon two re?ectors 3 and again re?ected toward
a receiving antenna system it having parabolic
energy collectors. The re?ectors 3 may be
mounted upon pivots 9 and their. directional
characteristics may be adjusted by means of the
lever arms iii, the linkages ii and the adjusting
member I! upon the end of which is also mount
ed a pointer or other indicator I 3 in cooperative
association with a scale it. The adjustment of
the re?ectors 3, as shown in Fig; 3, may be caused
to double the signi?cant angles and hence to in
crease the accuracy of the scale
receiving apparatus to which‘the receiving an
tennae i6 may be connected is shown at II.
Fig. 4 shows an aircraft or airplane having a
fuselage A and wings W. The equipment of my
invention may be installed with a transmitting
antenna and directional re?ector I for project
ing a beam within the limits of the lines i1 and 40
Some of the energy so projected may be
re?ected back by the surface of the ground G
along the lines l8 and i8’ respectively. Auxiliary
re?ectors i9 may be mounted near the wing tips.
The directional effect of these auxiliary re?ec
tors i9 may be varied by pivoting the same at i.
The control arms III are shown in this ?gure as
mechanically coupled by the linkages Ii to the
control member i2. This member abo has a
pointer l3 arranged to move along the scale ll.
The energy impinging upon the re?ectors ll may
again be directed against the energy collectors
20 and thence lead to suitable receivers 2i. In
this case I preferably employ a separate indicat
ing device or instrument 22 in connection with
each receiver 2 I.
Banking of the airplane would be indicated by
an unequal intensity of the received signal on the
two receiving antennae 20 so that the readings
on the two instruments 22 would not then be the
same. If the re?ectors l9 were to be mounted
fore and aft, then a difference between the indi
cations as provided on the two indicators 22
would be of assistance in determining the dip.
The altitude may simultaneously be indicated by
calibrating the scale il in terms of height.
Among the applications of my invention may
be mentioned its practical use on vessels which
navigate extensively along coastal regions and
the mouths of rivers or where there are numer
pivots 9. I then provide control arms III which . ous beacons and lighthouses. If such beacons 70
may be swung on thepivots 9. At the end of are provided with radio energy transmitters, the
each control arm I provide linkages ii connect
transmitter aboard the vessel may be dispensed
ing with a member I! which may be suitably ro
_ .
75 tated to produce a variable distance 0i’ intersec
Although I have shown mechanical means for
obtaining simultaneous and joint control of the
directional effect of the receiving antennae 1 and
8 or of the re?ectors 3 or I9, it,will be readily
understood by those skilled in the art that this
uni-control may also be obtained through the
use of electrical means, if desired.
Many modi?cations of my invention not here—
in said intensity indicating device.
ceiver having two separated radio energy collect
to those skilled in the art in view of the basic idea
ing antennae so mounted on said aircraft as to
The particular embodiments
herein shown are, therefore, to be considered as
'7. In an altitude meter, means for projecting a
radio beam downwardly from an aircraft, a re
in speci?cally described will suggest themselves
herein disclosed.
6. A system in accordance with claim 5 and
having a uni-control device for simultaneously
rotating said energy collecting devices into suit
able position for obtaining a maximum response
receive ground re?ections of said energy, uni 10
control means for simultaneously varying the di
rective characteristics of said antennae to obtain
merely examples of apparatus which may be
otherwise varied without departing from the a maximum response in said receiver, and- a
‘scale-and-pointer indicating device operatively
spirit and scope of my invention.
associated with said uni-control means and call
I claim:
brated in units of altitude measurement.
1. In a distance and direction determining sys
8. Apparatus in accordance with claim 7 and 4
tem, a radio beam projector mounted aboard a
vessel and adapted to transmit energy suitable having means for indicating a di?erence between
for re?ection by natural and arti?cial objects, a the respective responses to energy collected by
20 pair or energy collectors mounted aboard the one said antenna in relation to the energy col
lected by the other said antenna.
same vessel and having sharply focussed direc
9. In a distance determining system, a radio
tional characteristics, means for varying the an
gular relationship between the directional axes beam projector mounted aboard a vessel and
of said collectors, energy translating means for adapted to transmit a modulated or interrupted
carrier wave suitable for re?ection by natural or
25 indicating the intensities of the energy picked up
by said collectors when said energy emanates arti?cial objects, a pair of re?ectors mounted
from said projector and is re?ected back to said aboard said vessel and so positioned as to receive
co1lectors,and means for indicating the angular re-radiated energy from said natural or arti?cial
relationship between the directional axes of said objects, a radio receiver having an antenna sys 30
collectors when said axes are adjustedcto give tem suitably disposed to receive energy re?ected
maximum response in said energy translating by said pair of re?ectors, means for simultane
ously adjusting said re?ectors so as to produce
2. A system in accordance with claim 1 and a maximum response in said receiver, and means
having means for- directly indicating the distance for causing an indication to be given by the ad
-35 between said projector and one of said re?ecting justment of said re?ectors at the time of maxi
objects as a function of the angular relationship mum receiver-response, said indication being in
between the directional axes of said collectors terms of distance separating said projector from
said natural or arti?cial objects.
when the latter are adjusted to give maximum re
10. A distance determining system comprising
sponse in said energy translating means.
enezzgy projector mounted aboard a ves 40
having means for indicating the direction of one ' sel and adapted to transmit a wave suitable for
of said re?ecting objects as a function of the re?ection by an intercepted object, a pair of di
angle between the directional axis of one of said rectional energy collectors mounted aboard said
energy collectors and a base line joining the foci vessel and spaced apart by a distance such as to
form the base line in a. system of triangulation 45
45 of the two said energy collectors.
4. A system in accordance with claim 1 and where the other two sides or the triangle are con
stituted by the directional axes 01' said energy
further characterized in that said energy collec
tors are symmetrically mounted in reference to collectors respectively, receiving means connected
the axis or radiation of said radio beam projector. to said energy collectors and means for varying
5. In a system for warning 2. navigator of the the angles subtended between said base line and
dangerous proximity of an object with which his
vessel might collide, a transmitter mounted
aboard said vessel and having a directional radio
beam projector adapted to be aimed along the
55 vessel's course, receiving apparatus having two
sharply focussed energy collecting devices con
nected thereto, said devices being rotatively ad;
iustable so that the axes of their directional char
acteristics may meet at a variable distance from
60 the vessel, means for indicating the intensity of
the radio energy collected by said devices, and
means operable, when said collected energy is a
said other lines of the triangle while causing said
receiving means to respond to the energies col
lected, thereby to indicate the directional setting
of said energy collectors suitable for maximum re
ceiver response to energy re?ected by said object. 55
11. A distance determining system in accord
ance with claim 10, and having a pointer-and
scale mechanism connected to said directional
energy collectors and arranged to indicate the
distance separating said intercepted object from 60
the base line or the triangulation‘system as a
function of the angles respectively subtended be
maximum, for indicating the distance from said ? tween each of said directional axes of said energy
collectors and said base line.
vessel of an object by which said energy is re
65 ?ected upon said collecting devices after propaga
tion from said projector.
ms sc'naamo.
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